Potential trade destinations before 2021 deadline
- Kyle Lowry could be on the trade block before the NBA trade deadline
- The Raptors point guard is on an expiring contract
- Which teams could trade for the All-Star?
Even at age 34, Kyle Lowry is still one of the most impactful players in the league. Even when he’s struggling for the most part of a game, Lowry will always find a way to make the winning plays when it matters most. You can’t put a price on a player with that kind of winning mentality.
But Lowry is more than just an energy bunny for the Raptors. He is still averaging all-around numbers of 17.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. These aren’t empty stats, either. The six-time All-Star has eclipsed the 20-point mark nine times this season and dished out at least 10 assists in five games. Lowry is still an elite starting point guard whose two-way ability is of utmost value in the playoffs.
Yet, there is a sense that Lowry has become an expendable asset for Toronto. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported last week that a “portion” of the Raptors front office believes that Lowry is not a part of the Raptors’ next chapter. On top of that, the 26-year-old Fred VanVleet is now ready to take over the keys to the team. With Lowry sitting out due to a thumb injury, VanVleet came up with a team-high eight assists in their recent win over the Bucks. VanVleet’s multi-faceted offense, partnered with his court smarts, is the perfect torchbearer for the Raptors’ backcourt.
Having said that, let’s look at the three contenders that should make a move to acquire Lowry’s two-way abilities.
Even with Nikola Jokic producing career-highs in almost all stat categories, the Nuggets are still underperforming as a team. With a record of 15 wins against 13 defeats, they are just barely hanging onto the 8th spot in the West. Jamal Murray has again put on the cloak of inconsistency that he usually has during the regular season.
If this trend continues, the Nuggets might even lose out on a playoff ticket. That’s completely absurd. That thought can also motivate the Nuggets front office to look for a veteran star to atone for Murray’s inconsistency and help carry some of the heavy workload that Jokic is carrying.
That veteran star could come in the form of Lowry. I don’t expect the Nuggets to include Michael Porter Jr. in a deal, but they could start with a package of Gary Harris and R.J. Hampton, then throw in Will Barton to match salaries.
The talent and the depth are there for this Heat team. But it seems like their sense of urgency, especially on the defensive end, is missing. Bringing in an ultra-competitive player in Lowry should help inject some sort of desperation for the Heat, who are 1.5 games below the last playoff spot in the East.
But what package would the Heat offer to the Raptors?
Since Lowry’s high production is still virtually the same, the Raptors might want to have two of the Heat’s young talented assets (probably Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson) plus a couple of salary fillers to make the deal work. It’s a heavy risk, especially with Lowry entering free agency this offseason. But imagine a line-up of Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala, and Bam Adebayo closing out games for Miami. That is a scary thought for the rest of the league.
Joel Embiid is a frontrunner for the MVP award this year. Ben Simmons is having another tremendous season on both ends of the floor. Tobias Harris is averaging at least 20 points for just the second time in his career. If Lowry enters the picture, this Sixers team would even trump the Brooklyn Nets‘ trio on paper.
Danny Green could be on his way back to Toronto if Philly pursues this trade, and he could bring Seth Curry along with him. I doubt that the Sixers will include young assets like Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle in a Lowry trade, so I expect them to throw in a couple of future draft picks to sweeten the deal.